Maintaining your home takes a lot of effort. An entire aisle at the grocery store is dedicated to cleaning supplies for virtually every possible household situation. While these products are loaded with germ-killing, grease-fighting capabilities, they may be more harmful than helpful.
Many every day products you find in your home have the ability to cause burn injuries. These burns can be external or internal, and are dangerous enough to kill if you aren’t careful. Warning labels don’t list every possible scenario where the chemical can burn you.
Ways you can suffer a chemical burn
Burns to the nose, throat, lungs, eyes, and skin can occur in numerous ways. It might be from direct contact, or it could be from inhalation of gas fumes. Many chemical burns come from cleaning products, but keeping ourselves clean by using beauty products can also cause them.
- Accidental mixing of cleaning chemicals: This happens more than it should. Restaurant workers or even those of us just cleaning at home can unintentionally mix products together and unknowingly create a toxic gas that causes internal and external burns. One of the more common – and deadly – accidental gases is chlorine gas, which is created by mixing bleach with an acid (like toilet bowl cleaner).
- Chemical spills: Sometimes you may just accidentally tip over a bottle and spill it, but other times it’s possible that the design of the packaging, including its safety features, may make it easier to spill while trying to use it. Bottles that can become clogged and spray chemicals in awkwardly unexpected directions may cause contact. Another way you can adhere to the safety warnings but still become hurt by a spill is if the safety seal is difficult to remove and the chemical essentially ruptures under pressure.
- Improper use: A toddler winds up in the emergency room every two hours due to ingestion of or skin contact with beauty products that cause chemical burns. The worst offender tends to be nail polish remover, though perfume/cologne, deodorant and other products also cause burns.
Complications that may result from chemical burn injuries
By inhaling chemicals that cause internal burns to your respiratory system, you may sustain irreversible lung damage; in the most severe cases, a person can die. There are other lasting complications that may be experienced as well. Depending upon the severity of the burn, you may be at risk for disfigurement that requires plastic surgery. You may lose a limb and potentially need a prosthetic to regain some quality of life. Muscle and tissue damage may result in needing physical and/or occupational therapy in the event that you cannot return to work.
Chemical burns are just as serious as other burns and you are going to face long-term recovery for more serious burns. If a company didn’t provide a proper warning label on the product, or their warning was insufficient for its intended use, you may have a product liability claim. If you were a visitor in someone’s home or business where chemicals were accidentally mixed or improperly used causing you to come into contact with them, you may have a personal injury claim against the homeowner or business for your injuries.
The effects of toxic chemicals
Swallowing a chemical substance can result in severe internal burns, but may also lead to:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cardiac arrest or heart attack
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle twitches
Contact burns on the skin or in your eyes can lead to:
- Blackened or dead skin, typically from acid burns
- Irritation, redness, or burning where the chemical has come in contact with your skin
- Numbness or pain in the affected area
- Loss of, or changes in, vision when chemicals come into contact with your eyes
The burn injury attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP understand the devastating consequences that chemical burns can have on your life. Exposure to chemicals can cause lasting damage that limits your enjoyment of activities and makes daily living more difficult.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to meet with you to discuss your legal options. Schedule your free consultation with one of our client-focused personal injury attorneys by calling our Atlanta office at 404-961-7650, our Savannah office at 912-651-9967, or by reaching out to us through our contact page.
Steve Lowry is an award-winning litigator who has secured record-setting jury verdicts on behalf of his clients. A passionate advocate for individuals who have been harmed by the actions of others, Steve has won numerous top 10 verdicts in Georgia.
Read more about Stephen G. Lowry here.